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Interior of a Pharmacy, with Four Figures

Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

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The artist was presumably a member of the same family as the better-known Mattheus Ignatius and Philippe Jacob van Bree. The painting is similar to one by Philippe Jacob of the pharmacy of St Johns Hospital, Bruges, but here the secular elements are stressed: an old man and a woman are sitting down for a chat while the pharmacist and his apprentice are grinding up materia medica, presumably for the prescriptions of their waiting customers. However the furnishings and equipment are very similar to those in the Bruges painting – they seem to date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Wellcome Collection





oil on canvas


H 78 x W 94 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936

Work type


Inscription description

Jos. Van Brée 1860

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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